Richard Boone

Richard Boone

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The Arrangement Review


Zero
The poster proclaims: "If your wife insists you see it together, be careful." It's one of the most hyperbolic taglines in movie history. Despite its slam-bang opening sequence, Elia Kazan's neglected movie (based on his own novel) eventually devolves into histrionics and silliness. Its strange third act almost kills the deal entirely. See if you agree.

The film opens as obviously mega-wealthy advertising executive Eddie (Kirk Douglas) wakes up and, silently, prepares for work. He frequently checks in to listen to his latest creation -- an ad for Zephyr cigarettes -- as he motors along to work. But suddenly, he decides to take his hands off the steering wheel. Then he puts them back on... and slams the car under the wheels of a tractor trailer riding alongside him. What the heck!?

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The Hobbit Review


Grim
Given the ability of cinema to ruin almost any book, it has always been comforting that a few books were considered unfilmable. Until recently, The Lord of the Rings was apparently one of those books. Two animated versions for children were produced in the late 1970s, but both were unsuccessful and ignored even by the legions of fanatics. In spite of the new trilogy's blockbuster potential, filmmakers forbore to make a Lord of the Rings movie for decades, until finally emboldened by recent technology.

Regardless of whether the upcoming Lord of the Rings turns out to be a cinematic milestone, the point is that there are probably some books, whether unfilmable or not, which should remain un-filmed. Even the inoffensive animated version of The Hobbit by Rankin/Bass, which was a lot easier to produce than the forthcoming live-action trilogy will be, illustrates why adapting popular books to movies is rarely successful. The storyline of The Hobbit (Bilbo Baggins goes on trip, finds ring, kills dragons, etc.) is not so powerful that it demands to be retold. And in spite of a good cast of voices and decent animation, the animated film adds nothing to the book. This is usually the case, because the best qualities of books are not the best qualities of movies.

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I Bury the Living Review


Excellent
Really creepy but very short Twilightish tale of a cemetary proprietor who finds his placing of black pins in the wall map of grave plots leads to the death of the plot's owner. Then he finds if he puts a white pin in where a black one was... Very well photographed in stark black and white, reminscent of Night of the Living Dead, only without, you know, the zombies. Interesting camera tricks alone are worth a look. Very underrated.

The Shootist Review


Excellent
John Wayne's final film, just now released on DVD, is a labor of love that simply begs for analysis.

In The Shootist, Wayne plays an old and dying gunfighter named J.B. Books -- nay, a "shootist" -- who returns to his old stomping grounds in order to die in peace. His old doc (James Stewart) confirms that he has cancer, so Books heads for the boarding house of the widow Rogers (Lauren Bacall), raising her son Gillom (Ron Howard) all by her lonesome.

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Richard Boone

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